HEADPHONE REVIEWS

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 09, 2011 0 comments

When we heard about the Sync by 50 headphones from SMS Audio, our hearts soared. We hoped that company founder and hip-hop star 50 Cent — or Fiddy, or Fif, or Cent, or Curtis, or whatever the hip-hop cognoscenti are calling him this week — would tap his fabled entrepreneurial skills and no-nonsense business attitude to create the world’s first hip-hop headphones that don’t at least kinda suck.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Feb 20, 2012 0 comments

Companies that sell in-ear monitors seldom talk much about the technologies inside their products. But they should, because there are big differences between the ~$20 Philips and Skullcandy IEMs you buy at Target and the ~$200 models you get from Etymotic or Shure.

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Michael Berk Posted: Jul 05, 2012 0 comments

Tivoli's staked out a secure place for itself on the bedside tables and desks of stylish folks worldwide, and now they've decided to bring their tasteful finishes and wooden accents to the category everybody's getting into these days - headphones.

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Michael Berk Posted: Dec 11, 2012 0 comments

Over the past several months I've repeatedly had goo poured into my ear canalsFor you, gentle readers - all in the interest of finding out whether custom in-ear monitors make as much sense for serious listeners as they do for musicians and sound engineers.

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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 23, 2012 0 comments

In our roundup of $59 headphones, Urban Ears' Plattan won our testers over with its combination of solid performance, comfort, and minimalist style. The company's now introduced the Plattan's grown-up successor, the Urban Ears Zinken ($140), a more feature-packed model that shares styling cues with the older 'phone but is aimed squarely at DJs and the far larger market of folks who want to look like they spend their nights behind the wheels of steel.

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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 17, 2012 0 comments

We're not sure about you, but here at Sound+Vision we've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of V-Moda's M-100 since we first glimpsed it at the 2012 CES. It's been a long and interesting road for the company's latest full-sized, audiophile-friendly 'phone, with many changes stemming from the active input from the community of headphone enthusiasts at Head-Fi. And the Crossfade M-100 is finally here.

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Michael Berk Posted: Jun 12, 2012 0 comments

The look of V-Moda gear may be a little Versace for some mild-mannered audiophiles, but make no mistake: Val Kolton knows a thing or two about good sound, and beneath the flashy exteriors of his gear you'll find thoughtful engineering, well-conceived ergonomics, and impressive sound quality.

So when Kolton told us he had a portable source device in the works, were we excited? You bet.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 04, 2013 0 comments

As an Android fan, it's been frustrating to me to see how many audio accessories have been made for the iPhone, but almost none for my phone of choice. As a Samsung Galaxy S III owner, it's been even more frustrating, because the GS3 has sold more than 40 million units to date, with the GS4 coming in a couple of weeks to keep the trend going. Finally, though, someone's come up with an audio accessory for the GS3. Not some tacky little plastic dock, either. It's actually the coolest portable headphone amp I've ever seen: the V-Moda Vamp Verza.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Apr 10, 2014 0 comments
The latest release from V-MODA, the XS are designed to be on-the-go headphones for the person who dislikes in-ears. They’re ultra-compact on-ears, and V-MODA have streamlined the shape of the earcups and headband to lay as close to the skull as possible. You have to give V-MODA credit: they are impressively small. The included case is barely taller than an iPhone. The XS are hinged and collapse down to about 4.5”x 5”x 2.5”. But are they more than just teeny tiny?
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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Nov 14, 2012 0 comments

So many awesome new video games have come out this fall, and there’s so little time. But perhaps the other members of your household don’t share your passion for stabbing corrupt politicians in the neck at three in the morning, or your neighbors don’t want to hear 140 MPH car crashes all evening long. But since you’ve been keeping up with all the newest titles, your wallet’s probably feeling a little light — so you can’t justify dropping $300 or more.

What’s a gamer to do?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 24, 2013 0 comments

With the vPulse in-ear monitor, Velodyne managed a trick most other headphone brands haven’t—it created a big-bass headphone that didn’t sound dull. Now the company has launched two over-ear models: the $399 vTrue, a large, audiophile-oriented model, and the $299 vFree, a relatively compact headphone equipped with Bluetooth wireless. S&V’s Michael Berk reviewed the vTrue, while I’m taking on the vFree.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 25, 2012 0 comments

Subwoofer specialist company Velodyne surprised everyone when it entered the headphone business last year. But while you might expect Velodyne’s headphones to incorporate ginormous drivers, passive radiators, high-powered digital amps, and the like, the vPulse is pretty ordinary-looking.

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Michael Berk Posted: Mar 27, 2013 0 comments

As Brent Butterworth reminded everyone earlier in the week, subwoofer specialists Velodyne impressed us quite a bit last year with their first headphone effort, the in-ear vPulse.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 21, 2012 0 comments

We haven't made any secret of our general disdain for headphones endorsed by hip-hop artists. Not that we have anything against hip-hop artists, nor is there any good reason why hip-hop 'phones should sound bad.  It's just that many of them do.

In last year's celebrity headphone test, we didn't dig the Soul by Ludacris SL300WB at all, and had a mixed reaction to the Beats Pro and Skullcandy Roc Nation Aviator. But our not-unpleasant experience with the Sync by 50 SMS-WS got us thinking that maybe someone in the hip-hop world was starting to understand that while crazy, bass-heavy tonal balances may be initially impressive, they're not something most of us want to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Next up in the battle of the rapperphones is the $275 WeSC Chambers by RZA.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 30, 2013 0 comments

The companies that have most benefitted from the headphone boom are the ones who are great at marketing but don't know much about audio engineering. (Yet.) Two of the hottest brands in the biz are Beats and Skullcandy, companies that didn't even exist when the iPod debuted.

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